The Really Big Picture

man planting trees illustration

August 31, 2021

I’ve spent a lot of time in the weeds, both in my day-to-day role and what I write to you about each week. This week I wanted to take a step back, a big step back and look at the big picture. Watching some of the horrifying images from the Afghanistan military departure, as well as losing a buddy to Covid last week has given me a mortality check. I have and still do spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the big picture, seeking answers to the purpose of it all. 

Don’t worry I’m not losing it yet, just laying the platform for the motto I phrased about a decade ago. 

Health, Wealth, Family, Fun, Serve. They are truly the words I attempt to live by each day and believe it or not directly contribute and affect my daily role as custodian and protector of your assets. Let me try to just touch the surface of each point, on what is truly a much bigger conversation.


I heard a great quote a while back. “Health is taken for granted till we lose it. Then we will spend everything to get it back”. Another states, “Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value till we lose it”. Both so very true. From where I sit, your health is one of the things that can decimate a portfolio. Health care costs each year are the highest inflating parts of the economy, and as our will our demand on the health care system. This is why it’s so important from an asset management standpoint to account for the potential costs of future health care, and plan accordingly. The best plan would entail being in such good shape physically and psychologically that won’t need to spend a bunch of money on it. That may be a pipe dream, however, there are many positive things we can do to prolong health. No, I’m not preaching or prescribing anything here, other than to say that your plan for health should include, nutrition, rest/sleep, exercise, and hydration. 


This one seems self-explanatory. Wealth creation, wealth generation, wealth preservation. To live the life we ultimately want for ourselves and our families is simply going to cost money. We all have different goals, dreams and capabilities to earn. The alignment of these areas determines our success levels. You’ve entrusted me with the honor of protecting and growing the wealth you’ve created thus far. The trust you have placed in me is not taken lightly. I do take it personally, and I think this mindset helps me in my quest to be better at it every day. 


My parents are back in Australia, (they are having their own challenges at the moment with Covid lockdowns), and I miss them greatly. My kids are all here and doing well, and I have friends that I truly consider family. Ultimately, family is the reason we do what we do. My goals here relate these days in annoying the kids enough so they spend time with me, but as I realize that we will soon be empty nesters, I get now to focus on truly enjoying the time I spend with them. Everyone tells you time will fly past, I guess it’s hard to consider when you’re in the moment of changing diapers, but then you blink and they’re gone.  

My point here, is that whether you were born into family, or were lucky enough to choose who you call family, (or both), don’t leave it unsaid.


OK, let’s get out of the morbid discussion and get onto the fun stuff. If I haven’t said this to you in our meetings, let me put it down here. I’d much rather hear how you’re spending your money doing fun things, than discussing how the portfolio performed against the index. I want you to ultimately spend the money doing things you love to do. For me it’s travel. The first thing I do when I get back from a vacation is to plan the next one. Having something planned and having something to look forward to, keeps my sanity in check. Life is just a bunch of experiences, and if I can’t do some of them, I want you to do them and tell me about them. 


I’ve been fortunate enough to have accomplished a number of things that I set out to achieve. Most of all, a great family and team here at the office. The community I live in has provided me the opportunities to be able to work with all of you and keep me on the journey of mastering my craft. Giving back is something I need to do. I’m sure I drive everyone mad with some of the things I commit us to, but it’s truly something I’m passionate about. I won’t go into detail –  this is a search for recognition. Serving your maker, serve your spouse, serve others. Although it may be the last topic of my mantra, it’s truly the thing that brings it all back together for me. 

Health, Wealth, Family, Fun & Serve!  I wish the best in each of these areas for all of you. If you’ve got a motto you live by, I want to hear it. 

Hopefully I didn’t freak you out too much this week, getting deep and meaningful…Promise I’ll go back to my geek-out sessions next week.

With that here’s the buy/sell.

Mick Graham, CPM®, AIF®
Branch Manager Raymond James
Financial Advisor Melbourne, F

ick Graham, CPM®, AIF®
Branch Manager Raymond James
Financial Advisor Melbourne, FL

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